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    Vassar College
  Feb 19, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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BIOL 380 - Biomechanics

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)

How does it work? This simple question drives biomechanics. Analysis is made possible by understanding the physical and engineering principles that operate in different organisms in their different ecological circumstances. Solid mechanics helps us understand how a redwood supports its own weight or a human foot employs elastic recoil during running. Fluid mechanics helps us understand how a maple samara stays aloft in a breeze or a bat hovers as it collects nectar from a flower. To test mechanistic hypotheses, we build instruments and develop techniques to carefully measure motions and forces inside and outside of the behaving organism. The result is a mathematical, computational, and/or robotic model of the lifeform as a machine that can lead to a better understanding of the proximal causes of behavior and the ultimate drivers of evolution. We delve into theory, techniques, and models by reading, critiquing, and designing biomechanical experiments. John Long.


Prerequisite(s): two 200-level Biology courses. COGS 211  can count as one of the two required units.

Two 75-minute periods.

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